The New Orleans Pelicans added a second top-five pick via the Anthony Davis trade, but they’ve got their eye on flipping it for Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
Over the weekend, the New Orleans Pelicans agreed to send Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. The No. 4 pick in this year’s draft came to them as part of the deal, but according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (subscription required) the Pelicans are monitoring the Washington Wizards’ interest in trading guard Bradley Beal and are willing to part with that No. 4 pick in Thursday night’s draft.
The Wizards have not yet replaced fired general manager Ernie Grunfeld, with interim president Tommy Sheppard leading their front office business right now.
Trading their best player is surely not a move the Wizards are pressing to make and that decision should be given to a new general manager anyway.
Beal averaged a career-best 25.6 points, 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game this past season, as he shot 47.5 percent from the floor and 35.1 percent from beyond the arc. He’s also got two years and $55.8 million left on his contract.
But as the Wizards possibly eye a retool/rebuild, with John Wall (Achilles) likely out all of next season with an absolutely immovable contract, Beal is easily their best trade chip.
Trading Davis was the inevitable, ultimately unavoidable, move for new Pelicans front office lead David Griffin.
Apparently he’s not going to rest on that return (Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, three first-round picks), to go with Jrue Holiday (unless he’s traded too) and presumptive No. 1 pick Zion Williamson.
If not Beal, the No. 4 pick could very easily be flipped for another veteran between now and sometime on draft night.
Upon the news of getting Davis, the Lakers’ odds to win the NBA title next season were boosted.
The Pelicans easily have the more credible front office leadership though and any idea they won that trade would be magnified if the additional high draft pick this year can be immediately turned into another veteran star.